Hi there. I'm hoping one of you Framus fans can help me out a little. A Framus 5/296 Texan 12-String is on its way to me after an E-bay auction. The seller noted that it didn't have tuners but for the price I managed to snag it I still feel lucky. My question: Does anyone happen to know of a set of tuners that fit? I was told that the measurement from center to center of the hole is 1 inch and found a set of tuners here (http://www.wdmusic.com/product9233.html) that fit that description, but I don't know the other measurements.
Framus does sell a set that state they fit the 5/296 (http://shop.warwick.de/product_info.php?info=p493_Mechanics-with-me...) but the price plus international shipping (not to mention exchange rate for dollars) would end up costing more than I paid for the guitar.
Any insights or info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
I just seen your message, this night it's a bit late (2 AM), but when I wake up I'll take the measurements of the distance between pegs and the peg diameter on my '70 special. It would be uesful if you can send a picture of the peghead, or compare to mine in my picture gallery - just to be sure they are the same.
Allen, I can't thank you enough. Unfortunately I don't have the guitar yet - I was hoping to order the tuners before it arrives next week. The pictures I'm attempting to attach were taken by the Ebay seller, hopefully it will help. I checked out the pictures of your Texan special (it's a beaut, by the way) and the headstocks look a little bit different but I'll take any measurements I can get. Thanks again!
Sorry what I proposed was not helpful. On my 12 string Texan, the tuning gears have been replaced with original Framus vintage replacement parts. Sometimes, an old instrument that you have not paid much is still worth more than its price for repairs. I suggest that you wait until you receive the guitar: the major problem to fix on some old Framus 12 strings is the action height high on the fretboard. Many Framus don't have the problem, they are so sturdy, and if the action is still low, the guitar's value for the usual "natural" or "sunburst" finish - which is yours - is around $ 200 or $ 250 for a used instrument without finish damage.
If the action is too high, it is recoverable, but it needs a skilled craftsman to do this precision job.
The amount you pay for replacement parts or a repair also depends on how often you intend to play the guitar and how much you are ready to invest on your musical talent: I am ready to spend some $ 150 to fix one of my (old and not expensive) 6 strings if needed, because I am playing them every day, and sometimes in front of an audience, and even sometimes I get paid for it, so it's an investment in sound quality and I never regretted what I paid to put new frets on my 5 string banjo, I paid for the pleasure of a brand new bright sound ! I would rather pay to avoid wasting time trying to get a good sound out of an unplayable or out-of-tune instrument.
Your guitar is, as I guess, a mid '60 model, seen from the shape of the headstock. There sould be a stamp on the label inside, with a letter and two figures, like "64L" where the letter is the month so "64L" means december 1964.
Another important point on old guitars is that they may need to be refretted. More common problem on 6 string than on 12 string.
A good idea is to show the guitar to your local repair shop - assuming there is one in your neighbourhood: sometimes you should not trust what the repairman says, because some of them don't like old Framus guitars, but you have a chance to gather valuable info, and in my place, the local music stores have replacement parts or can order them.
Allen, thanks for the reply. According to the E-bay seller (who had all positive feedback, so they seem trustworthy) the guitar plays well when strung up. So I'm hoping that the action will be reasonably playable.
I like your point on considering how much it will be used when deciding how much to spend for parts/repair. For me the Framus was a whimsical purchase - I didn't have a 12-string but didn't really need one either. Snagging it as cheaply as I did surprised me. And while I didn't really need it, it would be nice to have a decently playable 12-string sitting around. So I'm willing to spend a little, but I'd like to keep it under $150-200. Based on your advice I may see if a local guitar tech has any ideas, or may just go ahead and pay for the Framus tuners that will fit for sure.
As for how much I play - it's daily but as a hobby. The band I play with is working up some songs to eventually begin playing out but we're all school teachers with limited time. The Framus isn't going to become my daily guitar, just something else to mess around with when writing songs.
This is the photo of the label that was sent to me, I don't see the digit/letter combination that will tell me the year but it does have a serial number.
Thank you so much for your help and advice, I'll try to keep an update running when I get the guitar and being fixing it.
I have been on Internet looking for 12 string guitar tuning gear, and I have seen some of them that look similar to the ones on my Framus, at prices around $ 17 or 18. But I don't trust these open gear rails unless I know the brand, some of the low priced open gear things may lack of mechanical precision. I keep on thinking the best thing to do is to have the item in your hands, so you can actually feel the quality. Your local music store is the way. Especially if there is an old guy in the store: if a man sells acoustic guitars for 30 years or more, chances are that he loves them.
Well, the guitar came in the mail yesterday and looks to be in pretty decent shape. The frets are low but I've read that's pretty common on these guitars - they don't seem to be pitted or worn too much. The zero fret and nut both look okay.
Tomorrow I'm taking it to a local repair guy, South Austin Guitar Repair. He's right down the road and has great reviews on his work, seems to do it just because he loves guitars.
I agree with you Allen - cheap tuners often have dodgy quality and with the difficulty in tuning 12 strings it's better to get something decent.
My biggest problem was finding the right place to take it. Up until now I've done my own repair work - replacing pickups on my Strat, putting together a Telecaster, fitting a new nut and saddle for a friend's acoustic... that was in my grasp. With this I just want it done without the hassle of having to drill or fill anything myself. The only "old guy" shops seemed to specialize in really high end guitars (and guitarists - this is Austin, TX after all). South Austin Guitar Repair sounded like a good guy who just likes to fix guitars.
I'll update again after visiting with him tomorrow.
An update and closure: I took the guitar to a long running guitar shop here in Austin, North Loop Musical Exchange. The word is that if it's been around these guys have seen it. They looked my Framus over and pretty much told me that I had a wall hanger and it wasn't worth repairing. The neck block has an issue, so in addition to adding tuners it would have to have quite a bit more done.
I feared that would be the outcome, but am glad I didn't go too deep money wise before finding out. Allen, thank you for all your help and guidance. If not for your suggestion that I should take it to an old guy guitar tech I probably would have wound up spending much more than it's worth.
For now the search continues for a decent 12-string at a low price! I may end up with the Martin X-series 12-string. They can be found for around $450 used - but I'm open to suggestions and opinions.
Sorry to read that your Framus isn't worth repairing. I met a guy who repaired one with a block issue himself, but I think doing so he wasted the time that he should have spent to play on a better guitar.
I can't give advice on recent 12 strings because I am an outdated musician who only plays on vintage or ancient instruments: I play on a 1964 Framus "Camping King" that sounds like a cittern (great sound), the purpose being not specifically to play 12 string guitar, but to play harmony melodies with that special sound flavor that only my old Framus can produce: I am focusing on the nature of the sound, and if I have to play on a lute or on a mandola to get the sound I want, I play lute or mandola.
I like your philosophy Allen - it's about the sound. Lately I've been obsessively working on my Stratocaster to get "the tone" and it drives my bandmates crazy. They'll say that no one will ever notice the small changes I'm making but that's not the point - I'll notice, and striving for those sounds makes me want to play more than learning a different sequence of notes would. Even if it makes the guitar harder to play the sound is worth it.
A 12-string will probably be in my future, but lately my attention has been diverted towards finding a Telecaster that doesn't kill my shoulder.